Job ad. Made me laugh- thought I'd share :)

While perusing the Pôle Emploi site today, I came across an ad searching for a beverage server- more specifically a "lemonade server"-but basically, someone to serve drinks in a café.

The ad specified that you must be dynamic! autonomous! with an ever-present smile! You must be able to remember what people order (the time that it takes you to ask what they want and to walk into the kitchen- a memory span of what? 30 seconds? a minute, max?) AND you MUST be capable of making change while wearing a money belt. To be considered for this job, the ad continues, you must have a *minimum* of TWO years experience, no less! And, of course, you must have obtained your two-year degree in waiting tables.

Essentially, to wait tables- a job that in America, we consider that any reasonable 16 year old boy or girl with no previous work experience is capable of doing, you must have two years experience and a diploma that you spent two more years obtaining.

Does anyone else find these kinds of job ads silly? Any similar silly job ads that you all have come across?

It isn't really silly..just French.

Limonadier is a very tough job indeed. They walk miles every service, carry huge trays of up to 20 drinks. They have to remember orders from, say, 4 tables each with 5 people. They are responsible for their “money belt”, any short comings at the end of their service are docked. They must encaisser with one hand while still carrying tray and drinks... And they have to smile...

I think the job ad is pretty much spot on.

Sounds like you have had nowt but bad experiences with the Pole Emploi and others. My experiences have been mixed depending on the person and branch i've dealt with. It does seem hit an miss at times. Many of the PE employees i've met have been ok with some being superb with others useless, pretty much as you find in most services nowadays. Some I know are disillusioned with their lot like many french employees and this seems mainly due to the changing work conditions. Some PE employees are fonctionnaires whilst others are just 'government employees' which is very much NOT the same thing. Different working conditions with perks etc come into play and there is a lot of animosity as the non-fonctionnaires believe they are badly treated which may explain some of the problem when it comes to customer service. Don't get me wrong, they still have a decent 'package' but no where near as tasty as the fonctionnaires gig, especially when it comes to retirement & pay-offs etc.

That's exactly what I was thinking. I can't tell you how many times my 'simple' order including no substitutions or special instructions has come to me totally messed up by a person with no experience.

On the other hand, good service AND some good personality keep me coming back

Seems like a simple job, but alas......

Firstly you need to go on courses usually sponsored by the Pole Emploi to get the first notions of the job and take it from there. Basically, unless you are very lucky you start at the bottom and gain that experience. What's wrong with that ?

Just a pity there are very few jobs for the kids to apply for ! Even more reason to get as much training in as possible to give yourself the best possible advantages over the others maybe ?

Seems perfectly reasonable to me to ask for minimum standards from candidates. If I was employing anyone as I used to in France I would hope for a certain level of experience, reasonable 'clean' appearence, a clean CJ and basic manners.

My partner has worked in the Pole Emploi most of her working life in one department or another and some of her stories regarding candidates etc would make your hair curl....

Which is why you don’t see many young people, goofy or otherwise, working in France… 25% unemployment rate for the 16 to 25 year old.

How do you get two years experience if you need two years experience before you can get… the experience?

Note that actually getting onto the unemployment register itself in the first place and being deemed "allocataire" takes a great deal more perseverance, wringing of hands, and physical presence at Pôle Emploi - speaking from personal experience again.

As an employer, when we used to advertise for positions at the firm I worked in, Pôle Emploi had an abridged announcement that was put on display (it is all computerised these days) and a more detailed one that they keep for their own records in case a candidate showed an interest in the post. Then, we would be rung by the job counsellor to introduce the candidate to us, and ask for further details of the job, if these had not already been provided, or if there were doubts as to what was required.

Having also been on the "unemployed" end of the stick, I can safely vouch that Pôle Emploi was absolutely of no use whatsoever to me. When I signed on, they put me down as a chemist (not in the pharmaceutical sense of the word). I told them that I hadn't worked in a chemical plant since my days as a student, but it made no difference to them. Unsurprisingly, I got not a single job offer via Pôle Emploi. The whole experience was reminiscent of my time at the Job Centres in Swansea and Stoke-on-Trent during the mid-80's looking for work. It is often said that France is about 20 years behind the UK in many things - the unemployment experience is one of them. At least, to be fair to Pôle Emploi, signing on for unemployment benefit is now a simple matter of just filling in an online form once a month indicating whether or not you have worked, but that does suppose you have access to the internet. It would be ironic to have to go to the job center and use their public access computers to do that, but I'm pretty certain it does judging by the queues.

The diploma request is an unfortunate, sad reality of the "paper-based" skill set dogma so prevalent in French society, stemming from the egalitarian theory that all can strive to be recognized by society if they acquit themselves via formalised training schemes - the UK has/is heading in the same direction from what I have seen of late.

The employment system, as Véronique mentions, makes it very hard for French employers to train "people on the job" and remain profitable, without upping their end prices, and if they do that, they potentially lose customers. However, I would add that employers in many areas of work have tended to take a back seat when it comes to training and have expected the state to provide those skills via the education system. One only has to look at how poorly, in general, the obligatory training funds are (ab/un)used to provide further professional development (at least, in many small businesses).

Employer : "So, you want to do a course in hairdressing ?"

Employee : "Yes, I feel it would enhance my capabilities in multi-tasking - being able to interface with the customer and operate at the same time would be of huge benefit for the company."

Employer : "Might I remind you that we make widgets ?"

Employee : "Even widgets need love."

Employer : "And how long would you be out of the workplace, if I allowed you to do this course ?"

Employee : "About 6 weeks in all"

Employer : "Are you crazy ? (employee wirtes down "harassment" in her employment tribunal guide to surviving the workplace) - who will do your work while you're away ? We'll have to make someone redundant to pay for the loss in your productivity ! nauseam

I once applied for a waiting job in a local bar/restaurant through Pole d'emploi, this must be 15 yrs ago, The criteria stated, must be a fluent English speaker along with experience etc. I was gobsmacked to be informed that I needed a diploma in service de sale in order to serve the plat de jour. Waiting was something we did in my student days in order to survive while studying for our degrees, anyone was taken on providing they would work for, in some cases, tips only. If you were lucky, you might get a daily or nightly rate as well.

i've obviously been here too long - the advert didn't surprise me and it's pretty much what i asked for when i was looking to take someone on, not the qualifications but a few years experience and a clean track record concerning cash...!

Yes, I'm French - I think Pôle Emploi just put exactly what the employer says in an ad, don't they? I've never been there so I don't know how they operate. We expect people to be able to hit the ground running & that means they are trained, and not on the job by their employer except for details, because that wastes time & money and social charges are so high that if you are paying a salary twice for an employee you expect them to pull their weight from the off.

I taught for a year in a Lycée Pro and had hoteliers/waiters - they had 6 week work-placements & were treated like slaves, NO allowance was made for age, lack of experience etc. And school is tough too - stack of napkins with one folded with the hem the wrong way up? The lot goes on the floor, has to be washed ironed & re-folded. They don't do it twice. I couldn't believe what the Pro teachers do to them, but it isn't as bad as real employers.

Dynamique = not a lump, able to carry a loaded tray to 3 or 4 tables quickly without spills or making people wait for 10 minutes.

Autonome = not standing around waiting to be told what to do, eg wipe something up, clear glasses/ashtrays etc.

Souriant = not sullen or grumpy when spoken to like a serf & not over-familiar & smarmy either.

The bit about change etc is sadly more & more necessary, young people take out calculators for every tiny sum now. The bit about the kitchen is necessary because they won't be the only ones at work and it won't be quiet and people will have no patience with them. Limonadier is the professional term for a person who serves drinks in a bar or a brasserie. Going on the truly appalling quality of service I've sometimes had from resting actors etc (even if they were perfectly pleasant smily etc they weren't efficient) I think they are probably sensible to stress those qualities as French customers will vote with their feet and criticise. We probably aren't as tolerant of goofy schoolchildren because waiting is still seen as a real job in France.